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Air Force: sexual assaults are A-OK

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) considers the Air Force’s ruling an abomination.

“The Acting Secretary of the Air Force has reviewed the Department of Defense Inspector General’s (DoD/IG’s) report and the Fowler report on sexual assault problems at the AF Academy…After considering all the facts and weighing all the interests at stake, the Acting Secretary found that no administrative action is warranted against those officers identified in those reports as bearing some responsibility for Academy’s sexual assault problems.”

Acting Secretary of the Air Force Peter Teets in a letter to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Total and utter bullsh*t. Serve your country, get raped by a co-worker and just suck it up — we aren’t going to help you. (Raw Story):

“The Acting Secretary gave significant weight to their uniformly excellent and lengthy service and to the fact they were not intentionally or willfully derelict in their duties,” Teets added. “He also found that any mistakes or misjudgments some of them may have made are mitigated by the complexity of the issues faced, the necessity of policy tradeoffs and compromises, and the difficulty of measuring program effectiveness.”

Rep. Slaughter blasted the Pentagon for what she considered “sidelining” victims of sexual assault.

“It is reprehensible that the rights of sexual assault victims are so easily sidelined by the Pentagon as ‘too complex’ to address,” Slaughter remarked in a statement to RAW STORY. “This is the kind of ‘head in the sand’ approach we would have expected from the military in the 1950’s; in 2005 it is an abomination. Where is the accountability?”

“What the Pentagon clearly doesn’t want to discuss, and what all Americans should know, is that women are being sexually assaulted on an ongoing basis in the military and at our nation’s military academies by their colleagues,” Slaughter continued. “Is this the best we can do for young Americans who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom?”

Leniency towards sexual assault in the military has long been viewed as standard practice.

A November 2003 article in The Denver Post noted that twice as many accused Army sex offenders were doled out administrative punishment as were court-martialed.

“In the civilian world, four of every five people arrested for rape are prosecuted,” the Post noted. “Nearly 5,000 accused sex offenders in the military, including rapists, have avoided prosecution, and the possibility of prison time, since 1992, according to Army records.”

I cannot speak to the issue of what it feels like ot be a victim of such an assault, but I sure as hell can empathize enough to know that someone needs to be prosecuted for this behavior. There is NO justification for sending a message to young women in the military that they must offer up their bodies at will to any colleague that has a hard-on. What else does ” the necessity of policy tradeoffs and compromises” mean except this? There are reasons — they know better than you do, after all — why non-consensual sex is something you just have to live with if you want to serve your country.

Please read Shakespeare’s Sister’s post over at Big Brass Blog.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding